That's My Issue Open Phones: Business Owners

Thursday, August 23, 2012

That's My Issue is our election-year series to gather stories of how personal experience has shaped your politics. You can write your story and create a personalized badge, record your story directly from your computer, read essays, and do lots more on the That's My Issue home page.

Today: A Brian Lehrer Show call-in for anyone who has started a business or owns a business. How has the experience shaped your politics? Did government help you, or hinder you? How have your views on taxes, health insurance, pay, or any other issue changed? Give us a call at 212-433-9692.

→ Want To Share Your Story? Visit the That's My Issue Homepage

Comments [15]


This is my first time visit at here and i am in fact pleassant to read everthing at one place.

Mar. 07 2013 12:45 PM

@Mike the caller on the lack of voicemail....

Government systems (except notably DoD systems) are notoriously behind - usually two to three generations behind! - the private sector. Government workers are -- and (to the thinking of some) ought to be trained to use it all up before requisitioning something new. That's why air traffic control systems are antiquated; FBI agents had to use AOL to send email to colleagues; and Al Qaeda got away with hiding 20 agents in our country.

The technology that most Americans toss away is better than what we make or government workers use.

Aug. 23 2012 05:13 PM
RUCB_Alum from Central New Jersey

Thumbs up, MCK!

Brian's paraphrase of the President's remarks as "You didn't build your business. Someone else did." was 'inartful'. I would like to think that BL is clear on what the President said, what the President meant and how the Right is misrepresent the quote. Never thought that he would become a misquoter but it is illustrative on how being bathed in noise from the megaphone can affect your recollection and thinking.

See for yourself..Listen to the President's quote again. Don't read it - the meaning is lost by how the transcriber punctuates -- and then see if it jives with what Romney and the Right have been claiming.

Aug. 23 2012 05:07 PM
The Truth from Becky

How do such weak whiners go about opening and running a goodness you guys are babies...didn't you have to do a business plan to start your own business??? Time to re read it!!

Aug. 23 2012 12:03 PM
Phyllis from Brooklyn, NY

My husband and I have owned our independent art business for 28 years. We are a VERY small business and it drives us crazy that the notion of a small business on the national scene seems to cover businesses that have hundreds of employees.

There really should be a category of small business that on many levels reflects the interests and concerns of a "mom and pop" as opposed to, say, a small manufacturing plant with 80 employees. That is "small", but it has a very different paradigm than ours.

There really is no category for us. When we had to pay the MTA tax every month, it hit us very hard. I assume that a small plant would be less affected.

Aug. 23 2012 11:51 AM
licnyc from queens

The section 8 housing caller fails to understand, inefficiencies are also rampant with private business just as they are in government. If you feel like a private company can do any better, I invite you to share your experience with an insurance company.

Aug. 23 2012 11:48 AM
Katherine Galarza from Westchester

Both my husband and I are small business owners. My husband has a small biotech start up that would be shutting its doors about now but for Obama's huge tax rebate which will allow them to continue their very valuable work another 6 months (albeit with some cuts.)

Aug. 23 2012 11:46 AM
Deborah from Manhattan

I've owned my business - consulting and media production - for 20 years. The biggest challenge I face in hiring and treating employees well is the cost of healthcare insurance. I deeply wanted the single payer option (or, alternatively, force all medical insurance companies to be mutual insurance firms where the insured benefit from a well run company). This would have taken that burden off of me and the business, and I could focus on making a great work place for my employees.

Aug. 23 2012 11:45 AM
Linda from Jersey Shore

So many callers reflect our business model. We totally understand the burden of business and prefer to pay the tax for what our infrastructure needs. period.
My issue is the over $1200.00 a month we pay for our health insurance.

Aug. 23 2012 11:41 AM
mck from NYC

Brian, why do you continue the misquote Obama. I don't like everything he does or says but he was talking about the infrastructure that is necessary for businesses to operate. His example was roads, and while he paused in his weird way it is clear, if you listen to the actual clip the last word before he said "You didn't build that!" was "roads".

Aug. 23 2012 11:41 AM
fuva from harlemworld

Thought most business owners were wily, innovative, mavericks. Why do they so often seem to shy away from the challenge of progressive, socially responsible enterprise?

Aug. 23 2012 11:37 AM

Hope that Brian is aware of this ranking by the International Finance Corporation of the World Bank. It lists 183 economies ranked by ease of doing business overall (some breakdown is also given in different categories). The US is ranked 4th. This is in conflict with the cant from conservative politicians who claim that the Obama Administration is destroying the business climate in the US.

Aug. 23 2012 11:32 AM
Hugh Sansom

Journalists really need to get it through their heads that protections for copyright or patent protections _are_ forms of government regulation. Businesses are not generically opposed to government regulation and neither are Republicans. Both favor policy that promotes privilege, that redistributes wealth from the poor and middle classes to the rich. We've had over 30 years of uninterrupted policy along these liines form both Republicans and many Democrats like Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. It really shouldn't be controversial. The facts are plain. That so many journalists seek to paper over well-established fact suggests that what they are concealing is their own biases.

Again, there are plenty of regulations that privilege business — copyright, patents, eminent domain in many cases, certifications privileging high-skill disciplines (like doctors, lawyers, engineers, architects).

It is absolute nonsense to claim that "regulation" is a liberal thing. It is grossly wrong on the facts to suggest so. Regulation protecting workers or the environment may be liberal. It is no coincidence that media consistently represent only those regulations as regulation at all.

Aug. 23 2012 11:30 AM
Susan from Upper West Side

My husband and I are BOTH the smallest of business owners -- sole proprietors. I was also the President from June 2009-June 2012 of an organization composed mostly of small woman owned sole proprietorship businesses - the New York Lactation Consultant Association. My husband is a psychologist and I am a lactation consultant. We will encounter the same problems as Eric. Furthermore, since we pay much higher health insurance rates than those that large businesses can negotiate -- we will also lose if Romney repeals the ACA.

I am quite tired of listening to Joe the Plumber and other Joes and would like to hear from some Jills such as those who are part of NYLCA. In our line of work the potential impact of Romney's lack of concern for women's health issues is frighteningly real since we see on a daily basis what happens when women do not get good care and what happens when they do.

Aug. 23 2012 11:08 AM
Eric from New Jersey

Ironic a small business, I am an entrepreneur, and I am a job creator. Under mitt Romney's plan to reduce corporate tax rates and tax rates on the wealthiest Americans, and raise taxes on middle class and working class families, my customers won't have as much money to pay for my services. With less business, I will not be able to create as many jobs to perform those services. The only companies that benefit from such a tax change are big companies that provide lesser service and lower quality goods at cheap prices. It will have the Walmart effect, putting mom and pop companies out of business.

Aug. 23 2012 10:32 AM

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